THE BLOG
08/06/2013 10:30 am ET | Updated Oct 06, 2013

Does 50 Percent Who Say Yes to Marriage Also Say Yes to a Future Divorce?

The subject of divorce is unfortunately a heavy one in every society and we have dealt with it in the same way for years and years. There are so little revolutionary and new thoughts or solutions regarding this topic. It sometimes is like you're talking about an embarrassing disease you may only whisper about, but why?

If we look at the numbers we can't deny that the divorce rates all over the world are significant. The opinions about how to calculate the correct divorce rate varies too. Lots of the researchers find it easy to compare the marriage rate per 1,000 with the annual divorce rate. But if we do so, based on the Center of Disease Control figures, we come quite close to a 50 percent divorce rate for 2011.

But whether the divorce rate is 35 percent, 40 percent or even 50 percent, it still is a very high number! Knowing this, you would expect that the subject divorce would have become a little bit more accepted and a more common topic in the world or USA. So why is divorce still such a sticky subject? Why is the D-word still a sort of 'forbidden' word, a taboo, something you don't talk about in public or at birthday parties? Maybe it is because the subject is directly connected to intense emotions, irritations and even sometimes-heavy quarrel or fighting.

We simply do not like to talk about our problems openly. Perhaps we haven't really learned all the skills to communicate in a way that is geared towards truly listening to each other, working things out and finding a middle way. No, we prefer to direct ourselves towards expensive lawyers with the 'simple' demand to arrange the divorce as fast as he or she can.

Isn't it about time to face reality? A huge part of all US citizens who say "Yes I do" on their wedding day have a 50 percent chance that they are actually saying: "Yes I will divorce you in the future"! In Europe it is not much better. For example in The Netherlands, it is more than 1 out of 3 people who end up divorced. (36,2 percent according to CBS), and this number is sadly still increasing!

Often people blame me that I am stimulating people to get a divorce based on the Divorce Hotel approach and the interviews and seminars I give. That is in my opinion not the case! What I try to do is create awareness that the subject 'divorce' no longer should be seen as a sort of taboo. Based on the facts and figures the chances that you may get involved in a divorce procedure is actually quite significant. Not everybody is that lucky to find eternal love, but what we can do is face the reality that a divorce may occur, also in your live.

So yes we have to deal with divorces and what we can change is our attitudes towards it. Why is it so easy to marry and so hard to divorce? That simply does not sound right. If you ask me it could be a very good development if we would create a moment in everybody's wedding process were we ask attention for the fact that a lot of marriages end up in divorces. Maybe we should ask newlyweds to sign a possible 'future divorce agreement?' Just in case...better safe than sorry and realistic! Next to the wedding papers there will be a divorce statement or declaration. This declaration contains provisions about rules of behavior in case of a divorce, with fines for the one who misbehaves. We include and formulate approaches and rules about dividing property. For example one spouse can divide the property in two parts, and the other spouse can choose which part he would like. But the statement includes also an extensive paragraph about the children if there are any. Think about visitation of the kids etc.

If the divorce rate is as much as 50 percent or not, we can conclude that a lot of people who say yes to marriage, will have to deal with a divorce in the future. So we think a lot about marriage, eternal love and having fun. If we would think just a little bit more about your possible divorce and its consequences beforehand, we could make progress already. And of course we also wish Ever Lasting Love on everyone, but we also want you to be realistic. Let's be somewhat prepared for when the 'going might get tough' and you end up needing a civil, kind and mature way to finalize things. I mean, most people have a will in place, why not a 'divorce will' that is explicit in all details? This could be reviewed from time to time during your marriage when it gets challenging, or serve as a reminder to you of why you got together in the first place. If that still doesn't do it, at least you've tried, have been honest about it and can move on in a graceful and humane way.